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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDS
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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Specs

  • Battery Life (ANC off): 8 hrs (29 hrs with charging case)
  • Battery Life (ANC on): 5.5 hrs (19 hrs with charging case)
  • Dust/Water Resistance: IPX2
  • Fast Charging: 10 min for 1.5 hrs of listening
  • Charge Type: USB-C & Qi-certified wireless charging
  • Driver Size: 12mm
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (Active Noise Cancellation)
  • Accessory Kit: 2 sets of ear wings & USB-C charging cable
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, Mystic Red, and Mystic Blue (Samsung.com Exclusive!)

Pros

  • Huge 12 mm drivers (great bass)
  • Premium AKG sound signature
  • Great battery life (with ANC and Bixby turned off)
  • Impressive ambient mode for work, announcements, and other communications while listening
  • 6 built-in mics also produce great call quality and background noise reduction
  • Android and iOS compatible apps are full of useful luxury features
  • Compact charging case
  • Qi-enabled wireless charging
  • Nice colors and glossy finish
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - Qi Wireless Charging
Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging

Cons

  • The sensitive controls have issues with accidental touches when adjusting earbuds
  • Only average passive AND active noise cancelling
  • IPX2 isn’t good enough water resistance for most workouts and wet conditions
  • Only 2 sets of ear wings
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - 12 mm Drivers
12 mm Drivers

Stealth Thump

     The first thing you notice with the unique bean-shaped design of the Galaxy Buds Live is the absence of ear tips. Besides helping the quality and comfort of the fit, traditional ear tips can benefit the sound quality, too.

     Proper fitting ear tips will passively block out unwanted noise, and at the same time, help contain the sound you want to hear. Especially lower frequencies.

     With no silicone or memory foam seal, you’d think the Galaxy Buds Live would suffer the same fate as similar earbuds styles. Once we got our hands on a set, I was quickly proven wrong.

     The 12 mm drivers provide heavy bass and do a great job of making up for any sound leakage. The AKG tuned audio signature makes every genre sound great. Plus, the mid and low frequencies sound sharp, even at higher volumes.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live -Samsung Galaxy Buds iPhone App
Samsung Galaxy Buds iPhone App

Smart Sound Experience

     Using the Galaxy Wearable app (Samsung Galaxy Buds app on iOS), you get full control of your audio experience. On both operating systems, you get these luxury features:

  • ANC (Active Noise Cancelling)
  • Equalizer
  • Touch Control settings
  • Ambient Sound (Transparency Mode)
  • Find My Earbuds
  • and more

     In fact, the UI looks better on the iPhone version than on Samsung’s own Wear app. On the other hand, the Wear app has a few extra features, like game mode and reading notifications aloud.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - Unique Ear Wings
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - Unique Ear Wings

Two-Sizes-Fits-All

      Even though they have a funky look, the Galaxy Buds Live have a more traditional fit than you would think. The closest comparison are the original Apple AirPods.

     They have the same light, airy feel, but their ear wings make them much more secure. The two sizes should work for most people, but I think they should’ve included one more size up. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Earbuds - New Look
The New Look

Ambient Amplifying

     If your priority is blocking out traffic, plane engines, or annoying coworkers, then you’re better off with the Galaxy Buds 2, or other earbuds with a traditional ear tip style. If you’re looking to listen discretely, while still being able to interact with the world around you, the Galaxy Buds Live are perfect.

     They do an average job of active noise cancelling, but they can only do so much. Since there’s no true seal, the ambient mode doesn’t need to do much either. They label it “Relieve Pressure With Ambient Sound” and it does just that. This mode uses multiple built-in mics to give the outside world a nice subtle boost.

     Personally, I love using them when I’m driving out of town. I can discretely hear the navigation and listen to some background music while driving. Plus, I can still easily have a conversation with passengers.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Charging Case
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Conclusion

     With no true seal, I don’t think they should’ve marketed these as “Active Noise Cancelling.” On the other hand, their light fit and subtle ambient mode make them feel like you’re not wearing anything.

     Combined with huge 12 mm drivers and superior AKG sound signature, you can still “bump out the background,” if you want. I just wish they had better water resistance because they would be nice in the gym, too.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - Accessory Kit
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live